In case you missed it, Mel Gibson‘s period of exile is over.
The fallen Hollywood veteran has returned from the abyss, directing the highly anticipated World War II drama, Hacksaw Ridge, which has seen been nominated for countless awards and seen the 60-year-old back in lights.
And while the film itself may be worthy of the global praise it’s currently receiving, I’d sooner get directions to the nearest bar tattooed on my forehead than pay money to see his latest work of art.
Listen to Monique Bowley, Mia Freedman and Holly Wainwright disscuss what’s wrong with Mel Gibson’s return on Mamamia Out Loud.
As we all know, Gibson has a long and coloured history of abuse.
It includes making disgusting comments about homosexuals during interviews, directing racist slurs at police officers, and hurling sexist and violent verbal abuse at the mother of one of his children.
So yeah, 10 years has passed and maybe the father-of-eight has changed, and maybe I’m a cynic, but even if he had changed, I still wouldn’t pay to see Hacksaw Ridge and the reason is clear.
Money equals power.
The power to hire the best lawyers money can buy.
The power to make unflattering stories go away.
The power to offer vast settlements of money that and silence the victims of his abuse.
The power to make donations to the charities and groups of those he has hurled vitriolic diatribes towards.
The power to dodge the bad smell of justice for as long as possible.
We live in a world that tells us to believe in the justice system and the idea of justice being served to those who do the wrong thing.
But how do you serve justice to someone who sits above the rest of us and is allowed to return to a position of power despite, the fact that when asked why he would hit a woman in the face when she was holding his child responded, "You know what, you f**king deserved it."
A man who told the same woman, "You look like a f**king pig in heat, and if you get raped...it will be your fault."
A man who said, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world" and referred to an immigrant employee as a "wetback."
A man who said he wanted to kill a journalist, kill his dog, and see "his intestines on a stick" all because he wrote unflattering press about the Mad Max star.
You can see and hear a full list of everything Gibson has said on the record here.
How do you serve justice?
Simple, you cut off the source of power that allows them behave in such a way. You don't pay to see their films. You choose another film made by another hard-working director and line their pockets instead.
Speaking about the issue on this week's episode of Mamamia Out Loud Holly Wainwright said, "I will not give him any money. I feel like it's a tiny thing I can do to show my disapproval. I really believe that you have to say no this is not okay...This is the only power you have."
Mia Freedman agreed, saying that Gibson's return "raises a bigger question about why Hollywood is so able to forgive famous white men but women or men of colour? Forget about it, one strike and you're out."
Boycotting Hacksaw Ridge isn't something that I want to do. Like many, I used to really enjoy Gibson's films. But more than I like a great 90 minutes of acting, I like women feeling as though they're safe in their own home. I like police officers being able to do their jobs without being referred to as "sugar tits."
Boycotting Gibson's film isn't about his talent as an actor or a director. He might be really great at both of those things, but he also has a long running history of abuse that as a consumer, I can't look past.
It happens too often and with too many men in Hollywood, and something somewhere along the line needs to change.
It's too easy for us to say that enough time has passed or we'll never really know what happened.
And while he may have changed his ways, as someone who doesn't gamble, I'm not really interested in my money being put on the bet that it has.
As a nobody living in Melbourne, I don't have any power when it comes to Hollywood studios greenlighting productions. I can't get in their ear and implore them not to hire someone behaves in such an abhorrent and unforgivable manner. But I do have the power of my wallet.
And I plan on using it to send the message that I will not line the pockets of an abuser and I don't support the comeback of someone who is clearly not sorry for their behaviour.
Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Outloud.
If you’re experiencing sexual assault or domestic or family violence, call 1800 RESPECT, the 24-hour national helpline, on 1800 737 732.